"Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is alive and being treated at a field hospital in Syria after being wounded in an airstrike, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said Monday (February 12th).
"We have irrefutable information and documents from sources within the terrorist organisation that al-Baghdadi is still alive and hiding" in Syria's north-eastern al-Jazeera region, said intelligence and counter-terrorism department head Abu Ali al-Basri, quoted Monday in the government daily As-Sabah.
Al-Basri said that al-Baghdadi was suffering from "injuries, diabetes and fractures to the body and legs that prevent him from walking without assistance", AFP reported.
The extremist group's chief had been wounded in "air raids against ISIS strongholds in Iraq", he said.
Iraqi authorities last week published a list of "internationally wanted terrorist leaders" headed by the self-proclaimed ISIS "caliph", born in 1971, under the name Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai.
Last June, Russia said it had probably killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a late May air raid near al-Raqa in Syria, but later said it was still trying to verify his fate.
In September, an American military chief said al-Baghdadi was still alive and probably hiding in eastern Syria's Euphrates Valley.